Like its fellow countries in the north of Central America, El Salvador and Guatemala, Honduras suffers from high crime rates and severe poverty in the wake of civil wars in the 1980s. Street gangs roam unchecked in many urban neighbourhoods while drug traffickers ply the coasts and plague all levels of the state. A contested presidential election in 2017 spurred a wave of political violence, though all sides seem to have accepted the recent landslide victory of left-leaning Xiomara Castro. Chronic socio-economic ills, coupled with poor governance and rampant corruption, are the main drivers of northward migration, which has its own perils for those who venture the journey. Crisis Group studies the roots of the country’s persistent problems and pushes for policy solutions to break the cycle of forced departure and deportation.
This week on Hold your Fire! Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group experts Tiziano Breda and Ivan Briscoe about politics in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras and why Central Americans are leaving for the United States.
Govt extended state of emergency amid efforts to tackle extortion, and congress failed to elect new Supreme Court members.
Govt extended and expanded state of emergency. After govt imposed state of emergency in Dec 2022 to tackle apparent rise in extortion, Honduran Press Secretariat 7 Jan announced extension by 45 days and expansion to 73 other municipalities across country. Head of Police Gustavo Sánchez 3 Jan said police had dismantled 38 criminal gangs, apprehended 652 gang members and served 717 arrest warrants and that this had been done with “no complaints of human rights violations”. Meanwhile, shoot-out between security forces and gang members 30 Jan left one police officer dead in capital Tegucigalpa.
First attempt to elect Supreme Court members failed. Nominating Board 23 Jan published list of 45 candidates for election of new Supreme Court members, from which Congress elects 15 members. Political tensions simmered ahead of 25 Jan vote since court members are often elected along party lines. Notably, both ruling Libre party and opposition National Party throughout Jan accused each other of planning violent mobilisations on day of election. Congress 25 Jan failed to elect new Supreme Court members; unclear when Congress will convene for new vote, which must occur before 11 Feb deadline.
We are worried about what might be the long-term consequences of the current turmoil [in Honduras], especially in terms of how drug-trafficking groups may expand activiti...
Violence [in Honduras] is likely to escalate in the upcoming weeks since there is still no clear winner [of the elections] and the opposition its mobilizing its supporter...
With general elections approaching in Honduras, memories of the turbulence around the 2017 vote remain fresh. To avoid a repeat, politicians in Tegucigalpa should pledge to respect the results and authorities should clarify who would resolve any dispute. External actors should prepare to help.
As the coronavirus rages in Mexico and the northerly Central American countries, criminal outfits have adapted, often enlarging their turf. To fight organised crime more effectively, governments should combine policing with programs to aid the vulnerable and create attractive alternatives to illegal economic activity.
As the coronavirus spreads, and the U.S. presidential election looms, the Trump administration and Mexican government continue to deport migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Some deportees are carrying the virus. Central American states should press their northern neighbours for more stringent health measures.
Despite U.S. restrictions on Central American migration, Hondurans are fleeing north in record numbers as the country struggles with polarised government, corruption, poverty and violence. With outside help, Tegucigalpa should revisit its heavy-handed security policies and enact judicial and electoral reforms to avert future upheaval.
Ten years after a coup, Honduras remains deeply polarised. Mass protests and the government’s heavy-handed response have damaged the economy and sparked deadly violence. Crisis Group Northern Triangle Analyst Tiziano Breda explains the origins of the intense public discontent that is roiling the country.
With massive protests, armed clashes and a government-declared state of emergency, Honduras is in social and political chaos after the 26 November general elections. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Northern Triangle Analyst Sofía Martínez explains what has sparked the crisis and its potential effect on armed violence.
The northward flow of undocumented migrants fleeing economic hardship and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America exposes thousands of vulnerable people to mass victimisation. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – Third Update early warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to continue to pursue an approach grounded in supporting community violence prevention, institutional reform and poverty alleviation in the countries of origin while supporting transiting countries in managing the flow.
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